“I am just a child who has never grown up.
I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.”
Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018
The pilots of Eve Online are memorializing the legendary physicist Stephen Hawking in ways you might expect for the players of a space-based MMORPG.
Fleet commanders are scheduling memorial PVP roams through hostile territory, while the Space Pope Max Singularity and his alliance, The Sixth Empire, are lighting cynosural fields today throughout the Basgerin system while launching fireworks in a dazzling display at the Keepstar. Equally, many pilots across New Eden will light their own cynos at 22:00 Eve time in a game-wide show of honor for Hawking, who died early on March 14.
It’s no surprise that Hawking would hold a special place in capsuleers’s hearts. Hawking popularized many facets of discussion about wormholes and discussed the kinds of physics that could make the faster-than-light travel used in Eve possible. Hawking published several texts that helped explain, in easily accessible ways, how the universe works and theorized on the most popular themes of science fiction. A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, is one of the most successful science texts in history, having sold more than 10 million copies in just two decades.
At least one pilot has already visited the Molea Cemetary to jettison a can in his name, and players are asking CCP to remember the physicist and lecturer with an in-game memorial. One interesting suggestion on Reddit was the renaming of Black Hole wormholes systems to “Hawking Holes”, a reference to the focus of much of his academic work.
Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease in 1963, and given a survival prognosis of two years. He persisted, however, and outlived his medical prognosis by more than 50 years, eventually becoming the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a post once held by Isaac Newton. He served in that role until 2009.